Pets in women's shelters PAWS

Pets and Women’s Shelters (PAWS)™ Program Provides On-Site Housing for Pets, Giving Victims More Reason to Leave Abusive Homes

The American Humane Association's new PAWS™ program links the dual problems of violence against women and children with animal abuse and violence. PAWS is the first national initiative to promote on-site housing of pets at women’s shelters and to acknowledge the human-animal bond, which can be crucial to recovery after a crisis.

The Pets and Women’s Shelters Program (PAWS)™ was created in 2008 by Allie Phillips, director of public policy for American Humane, who frequently witnessed the pain victims go through when they are forced to stay in abusive situations because they fear for their pets’ safety.

Phillips explained, “In the mid-1990s as an assistant prosecutor, my misdemeanor criminal trial docket included many domestic violence cases. Most of those cases never proceeded to trial or resulted in guilty pleas because the victims often failed to appear in court due to fear of retaliation by their batterers. One frequent concern I heard was ‘If I testify or if I do not go back to him, he will kill my pet.’ In nationally training on the Link tor the past four years, and realizing the concerns that family violence shelters might have in housing pets on-site, I decided to do something about it. This has been my passion for years and I’m proud that American Humane supported my vision.”

Between 71 and 85 percent of women entering domestic violence shelters reported that a partner had threatened, injured or killed the family pet, according to a study done in 1997. And more often than not, because of few options for safely housing pets from abusive homes, victims feel they have little choice but to stay and subject themselves, their children and their pets to further violence.

To help quickly spread the program throughout the nation, American Humane has published a Pets and Women’s Shelters (PAWS) Program manual to help shelters assess their needs and provide step-by-step instructions for implementing the program. The ultimate goal of PAWS is to enable more domestic violence victims to leave abusive households without leaving their pets behind and at risk.

In another study done in 2007 in 12 Link-based research studies, results indicated that between 18 and 48 percent of women reported concerns regarding their pets’ safety, and had either delayed leaving abusive homes or remained in abusive homes out of fear of leaving their pets behind.

The PAWS Program acknowledges the unfortunate link between human violence and animal cruelty. But it also recognizes the healing bond pets can provide to people who have endured trauma. American Humane encourages all domestic and family violence shelters across the country to take the necessary steps toward implementing the PAWS Program at their facilities.


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Shippers make way for dolphins

Bottlenose dolphins off the southern coast of Spain will now benefit from shipping lane shift recommended by Earthwatch scientists Ana Canadas (Video) and Ricardo Sagarminaga van Buiten. When passing through the Alboran Sea, merchant ships and fisherman will now be required to travel 20 miles further south, reducing acoustic and water pollution.

Scientists from Earthwatch, the global environmental organization, are celebrating this week after the International Maritime Organization (IMO) agreed to divert shipping lanes off the southern coast of Spain in order to avoid important bottlenose dolphin foraging grounds.

When passing through the Alboran Sea, merchant ships and fisherman will now be required to travel 20 miles further south off the coast of Almeria. This diversion will reduce acoustic and water pollution in the area and should help to mitigate the impact of accidental oil spills on coastal habitats and tourist beaches.

“This is very positive news for the bottlenose dolphin,” says Earthwatch scientist Ricardo Sagarminaga van Buiten. “Cargo ships, often carrying dangerous substances, regularly pass through the Alboran Sea’s primary dolphin feeding grounds.”

He continues, “Bottlenose dolphins have suffered a sharp decline in the Mediterranean over the last decade, so diverting the shipping route should give the species an opportunity to recover.”

The Alboran Sea is a gateway between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean. It provides an essential migratory corridor for a large variety of marine species and attracts an abundance of fish. This high productivity makes it one of Europe’s most valuable feeding sites for dolphins and sea turtles. However, almost 30 percent of the world’s maritime traffic currently passes through these waters.

Together with maritime experts from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Earthwatch scientists made recommendations to the Spanish Merchant Navy and IMO, following five years of research in the area for the European Commission LIFE Nature project.

Since 2002, they have spent more than 700 days at sea, surveying 10,000 miles in order to develop conservation management plans for marine protected areas. In this time, over 500 international Earthwatch volunteers have given up their time to support them.

This long-term research project confirms that throughout the Mediterranean the bottlenose dolphin population is fragmented; their migratory activities have decreased and local populations are genetically isolated. The Almeria dolphin population is currently the only healthy one in the Mediterranean; dolphin groups average 30 individuals here, compared to 2 to 5 individuals in other regions.

Conserving this site and providing safe access between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean basin is therefore crucial for the survival of the species.

Related article:: Swimming in Winter


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Peter Cottontail sports stripes in Sumatra

Hippity, hoppity…click! So went the latest appearance of one of the world’s rarest rabbits, captured on film by a camera trap in the rain forests of Indonesia, according to researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Rare Sumatran striped rabbit
In fact, the Sumatran striped rabbit—a little over a foot in length with brown stripes—is so rare that recent photos taken in Bukit Barisan National Park are only the third ever recorded, the first dating from 1998 in Kerinci Seblat National Park, and the second taken from Bukit Barisan National Park in 2000. Before that, the last confirmed sighting by scientists of a living animal dated from 1972, and only 15 specimens exist in museums, all dating from before1929. It is currently listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ by the World Conservation Union (IUCN).

“This rabbit is so poorly known that any proof of its continued existence at all is great news and confirms the conservation importance of Sumatra’s forests,” said Colin Poole, Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Asia Program.

The rabbit is only known to exist from forests along the mountainous spine of Sumatra, and was thought to be the only representative of its genus. In 1999, however, researchers discovered another striped rabbit in the Annamite Mountains that straddle Lao PDR and Vietnam. Although both species seem similar in appearance, genetic samples from both revealed the Sumatran and Annamite striped rabbits are closely related but separate species from one another. According to the findings, both species have been diverging for approximately 8 million years.

Researchers also report that no colored eggs, striped or otherwise, were found at the study site.

By Dr. Nancy Swift
Animal Broadcast Network
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Refuge for the hoofed and beaked

When most people imagine their local animal shelter, they picture a tail-wagging terrier or a calico kitten. But the Hudson Valley is home to a different type of animal rescue altogether: Catskill Animal Sanctuary. CAS is a 105-acre haven for abused horses and farm animals. Though these animals were once intimately familiar with the worst humanity has to offer, their lives now resemble a children’s bedtime story, wherein Rambo the ram nuzzles Jerry the duck, and a couple of potbellied pigs snuffle by. But this is for real, and has taken untold patience, energy, and no doubt love.

Through care and training, the 150+ residents of CAS are now happy, well-adjusted ambassadors of their species. That last point is not unimportant, because CAS’s mission is not only to care for the kind of animals few in our society think about. The organization feels it’s equally important to educate visitors about American factory farming practices and the benefits of a meat-free diet, for the animals, the environment, and human health alike.

To that end, CAS has a visitor’s center, school and organization programming, and farm tours open to the public every weekend in the spring, summer, and fall, and many travelers and weekenders make it a regular stop. “I never imagined I’d get kissed on the cheek by a cow, or fall in love with the personality of a goat, but now it happens to everyone I bring to CAS,” says Gus Meyer, a volunteer who comes up from Manhattan to spend time with the animals. Meyer explains that before he was introduced to the idea of a farm animal sanctuary, he didn’t think much about the connection between these creatures, every bit as loving and charming as the family dog, and what’s on his plate.

“We love to see how moved our visitors are,” says CAS Director Kathy Stevens, whose love of animals and background in education made her want to combine the two. “Animals who’ve never known kindness or security heal so very quickly here, and do a great job of dispelling the many myths about farm animals. Most people wouldn't believe that, for instance, a sheep could (or would) spend the night lying by a sick pig, or run to the parking lot to greet new guests. But that’s what our Rambo does." Stevens hopes that the Sanctuary is a place of profound self-discovery for humans, and credits some "pretty remarkable creatures" with encouraging visitors to examine their lifestyles and how our personal choices impact the animal kingdom.
In its short history—the organization was started by Stevens in 2001—CAS has already taken in over 1000 animals, via the State Humane Association, police, or individuals. The sanctuary’s first charge, a miniature horse named Dino, was the sole survivor of a Brooklyn stable arson back in 2000. Tiny Dino, who is currently over 130 in human years, kicked out his stall and was dragged to safety; he suffered permanent lung and eye damage, but shows no sign of slowing down.

Now that Catskill Animal Sanctuary is well-established, the calls come in regularly—the starving horses; thirteen abandoned goats; a rooster stuffed in a mailbox in the Bronx. CAS takes in as many as possible, keeping in mind a healthy staff ratio and the rising cost of feed and vet bills. “We help keep costs low by relying on wonderful volunteers to fill out our small staff,” says Stevens, “but unfortunately we still turn down animals every day.”

Space does arise when animals are adopted by community members who have gone through a rigorous application process. These adoptions are real success stories, and a tribute to the love and care the animals receive at CAS. Take for instance the story of an old horse named Chance, who arrived at the sanctuary severely psychologically damaged. Chance had been kept in a stall for nine years without once being let out. Her manure was packed six feet high and she was terrified of people. But with time, patience, and love, Chance began to drop her defenses. Still, Stevens assumed she’d be among the“lifers” –older special-needs animals who live out their days at CAS. But an especially skilled and compassionate volunteer fell in love with her—and took her home. “Imagine my surprise! We literally wept with joy,” said Stevens.
Stevens wishes farm animal sanctuaries were part of more communities, as accepted as the local SPCA. “The more people interact with farm animals and examine the connection between meat eating and environmental, ethical, and health crises in this country, the better off we’ll all be.”

by Gretchen Primack

Catskill Animal Sanctuary is located at 316 Old Stage Road in Saugerties, New York. For more information, go to www.casanctuary.org or call (845) 336-8447.
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Carnival of the Green #29

We asked Nancy Swift of The Aberdare Institute, Kenya East Africa to host this week's carnival. The Institute is located in the Frank Buck Zoological Preserve and dedicated to the welfare of endangered species through its programs of research and education.

Dr. Swift's adventures are a regular feature on The Animal Broadcast Network.

Carnival of the Green, started by City Hippy and TriplePundit, is now booking space on the 2007 train and for good reason, COTG is one of the premier carnivals on line - congratulations to everyone.

Special thanks to Website Design and Promotion for hosting last week, great carnival guys. COTG #30 is back for a second round at Dee's Dotes next Monday.

Now, Carnival of the Green episode 29


Josh Rosenau of Thoughts from Kansas presents a few thoughts On Being Right.

A Magazine Treehuggers Can Love recommended by Enrique Gili from Common Ground.

From U of N Carolina a proposal by The Dirty Greek FOOD FIGHT: UNCG Farm-to-School. George has been doing his homework, worth a read.

Laura Lynn Klein, Organic Authority, updates us on the nation's largest inner-city community garden, LA's South Central Farm, and their fight against eviction.

Nancy of The Garden's Gift shares a few insights about composting, in Let's Make Compost and some community composting ventures that may inspire your search for "black gold."

The Evangelical Ecologist, Don Bosch, has this post on a more unorthodox sort of prayer walk, one that might include a golf course or a long, wandering trek through the woods.

Judy at Savvy Vegetarian responds to Mark Morford's article in the SF Chronicle about The Greening of Walmart. Only a little frothing and snarling and ranting - promise!

Do you trust the forest service? Well do ya, punk? Daniel Stentor, from debitage, asks a timely question.

Elisa Camahort at the hip & zen pen urges us to consider the size of our soapbox with her post, Why be vocal?

Riversider from Save the Ribble presents 2 empassioned Tales from the Riverbank.

Saving the Leatherback Turtle is the journal of Robert Miller (Rob's Idaho Persective) and Karyn deKramer written during their recent volun-cation working with Earthwatch on St. Croix.

Siel, aka the Starbuck's Challenger from green LA girl shines her light on an old friend, Seventh Generation with Greenness is Next to Cleanliness.

Whatever floats your...raft from Elsa Mary at the greener side just in time for Memorial Day, relaxing by the pool.

Dan Rhoads, A Concerned Scientist, comments on the soon-to-be-dedicated US Supreme Court cases pertaining to the Clean Water Act and the environment, Conservative bloggers on the Rapanos and Carabell cases.

Greener Magazine's Harlan Weikle looks underground for Environmentally friendly water storage, a report on an experiment by some at drought risk Florida coastal counties to use water to store - water?

Spirit, The Seventh Fire is revisited by Nancy Swift for the Animal Broadcast Network. Dr. Swift reminds us that Permaculture, a Native American tradition, still echoes in today's sustainability movement.

Because this Carnival was co-hosted by the illustrarted Frank Buck it seemed only appropriate that we leave til last, but certainly not least, a Special: Cartoon Call from Al at City Hippy.

That's it for COTG 29. I'm privileged to have been your guest host this week. Please be sure to visit Dee's Dotes when Carnival of the Green, the 30th edition, returns Monday, June 5.

To our American colleagues, have a safe Memorial Day and everyone, now is the time to help those devastated by Saturday's earthquake in Java, Indonesia.

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Permaculture and Native American tradition

Spirit, The Seventh Fire, if you missed it during the first national tour was a rare chance to be reunited with a Native American culture. The multimedia show scored by Peter Buffett tells the story of a modern everyman suddenly confronted with his Native American heritage.

The show began its tour to coincide with the opening of the Smithonian's new National Museum of the American Indian and was an instant sensation. Picture. Although on hiatus, Spirit has an active web site and plans a new tour in the near future.

    The heritage of Native America is a rich history of diversity and union, common ancestry and nations of people as different from one another as the Inuit and the Inca. The Native people of the Americas lived close to the land and, like agrarian/hunter societies everywhere learned to rely on nature and more than that, cultivate their natural surrounding in order to provide food, shelter, and energy in a way that was sustainable or all species, plant or animal.

    Permaculture is the word used to describe this tradition of sustainable production, a system, which examines ways to work with nature rather than against it and, with practice, evolve beneficially, environmentally sound solutions.

    We found a few web sites with more information on permaculture and an interesting field study coming in July, which you may want to explore. It's The Nunoya Nuntal Reality Trip International Workshop, the application deadline is June 1.

    by Dr. Nancy Swift

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    Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity

    "Everybody in the vicinity of the koalas looked as if they had seen rare glimpses of eternity."

    With her very first words from Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity author/editor Joanne Ehrich sets the stage for this beautifully crafted collection of photographs by amateur photographers and professionals around the world who have been transfixed by the sight and serenity of tiny koala, the gentle "Native Bear" of Australia.

    "It seems as though koalas utter a gentle whisper that can only be heard by our true selves, rousing our soul's essential desire to take time-out...to capture a little bit of that koala power to keep for ourselves."

    Not actually a bear but rather a marsupial the koala is perhaps the best known teddy bear like creature in common imagination and this book containing over 300 beautiful full color plates by 120 photographers does little to dispel that image. Photo after photo makes us fall in love more with the turn of each page. Every sublime image and each gaze into the lens confirms what these photographers experienced in the presence of Australia's most charismatic resident, that they, "Like Himalayan monks who are helped by people from around the globe... invoke our protective instinct, making us feel good about being good."

    But there is another element to this book and that is the more compelling truth that although koalas are unerringly beguiling as anyone who has ever seen one will attest, the koala is truly an endangered species; threatened by its own vulnerability as much as by its endearing charm.

    Ms. Ehrich has spent years compiling hundreds of images of these gentle arboreal creatures and brings us a dynamic, almost kinetoscopic, view of the koala as seen through the elegantly scripted pairing of images in successive time line. The result is a fluid sequence of portraits that almost appear to move as you gather in one compelling frame after another. As if strolling through the halls of an exhibit you intuit more from the images than just form and feeling you get a sense of the natural structure and texture of the koala's very lives which leaves you wanting to learn yet more.

    The pages are lightly interwoven with an intelligent, readable narration describing the nature and proclivities of this Australian native, adding to the reader's understanding of the plight and perhaps the ultimate salvation of the koala as a species. Like a pictorial reflection of Silent Spring, Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity may in fact serve as a template for the very survival of nature, the koala, and ourselves.

    According to the foreword by Australia's "Koala Woman," Deborah Tabart, Executive Director of The Australian Koala Foundation, koalas have had a special relationship with the land and people of Australia but, "Sadly, the plight of the koala is an indicator that the Australian bush and the planet are in trouble, and it is everyone's responsibility to keep them alive and healthy." The Foundation has been instrumental over the last eighteen years in drawing attention to the cause of the endangered koala and has recently put forward a study that will hopefully result in official action by the Australian government to take steps to protect the koala given the foundation's evidence "that the koala could be gone altogether from the eastern seaboard within fifteen years—a harrowing thought."

    The book is about the koala but the story is really of koala and the people who have made a life alongside the tiny Aussie. From the earliest legends of the aboriginal peoples who originally inhabited the land to those of the first settlers and now 21st century modern urban Australians the experience of living with the mystique of the koala has been a seminal experience and not always kind; but there is a power in the relationship seen in these photographs that makes us want to bridge the gap and live more in a world with koalas than in a world without them.

    This book should be in every home where there are children and in every heart that is human. Perhaps famed zoologist Jack Hanna says it best in his afterword, "As we close Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity—an exquisite celebration of the lovable koala—we are also opening a new chapter in their future on earth."

    by Harlan Weikle
    for Greener Magazine and ABN

    Koalas: Moving Portraits of Serenity, edited by Joanne Ehrich
    Oversized trade hardcover; 260 pages, 9.25 x 12.25 inches, 315 photographic plates
    $45 USD; ISBN 0-9764698-0-4; www.koalajo.com/

    Disney Studios new movie The Wild opens today April 14th in theaters across the country
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